All About

What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
AIDS is a medical condition. A person is diagnosed with AIDS when their immune system is too weak to fight off infections. AIDS is not the thing that kills people, it is the other infections that the body cannot fight off.
Since AIDS was first identified in the early 1980s, an unprecedented number of people have been affected by the global AIDS epidemic. Today, there are an estimated 33.3 million people living with HIV and AIDS worldwide.

What causes AIDS?
AIDS is caused by HIV.
HIV short for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that gradually attacks immune system cells. As HIV progressively damages these cells, the body becomes more vulnerable to infections, which it will have difficulty in fighting off. HIV can affect your brain and destroy it. It is at the point of very advanced HIV infection that a person is said to have AIDS. It can be years before HIV has damaged the immune system enough for AIDS to develop.

What are the symptoms of AIDS?
A person is diagnosed with AIDS when they have developed an AIDS related condition or symptom, called an opportunistic infection, or an AIDS related cancer. The infections are called ‘opportunistic’ because they take advantage of the opportunity offered by a weakened immune system.
It is possible for someone to be diagnosed with AIDS even if they have not developed an opportunistic infection. AIDS can be diagnosed when the number of immune system cells (CD4 cells) in the blood of an HIV positive person drops below a certain level.

There is a rising concern about the effect of HIV/AIDS among adolescents and young adults between ages of 13 to 24. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 40.049 cumulative cases of AIDS among people ages 13 to 24 through 2004. Since the epidemic began, an estimated 10,129 adolescents and young adults with AIDS have died and the proportion diagnosed with...